The majority of your grade in this course comes from a sequence of papers based on the assigned literature. This assignment should use at least 2 sources. One source should be a scholarly book or article (secondary source) published within the last ten years. One source will be your textbook. This means your Works Cited page should have at least 2 sources altogether. Use quotes from the textbook and your other source to support your thesis. Note: you may not use online sources such as Wikipedia, Gradesaver, Shmoop, eNotes, 123helpme, and etc.
Write a short essay (750 words) that defends a thesis you developed through a close critical reading/analysis of one (or two) literary works listed on the syllabus and supported by at least two secondary sources. Do not confuse “critical analysis” with “plot summary”; the goal is to develop, sustain, and advance a thesis based on a critique of the primary text but supported in part by at least two secondary source. A list of potential topics is below.
- Analyze key characters from one or more plays in this book. What motivates these characters? Point to specific moments in the play to make your case.
- Write an analysis essay in which you single out an element of one or more plays for examination- character, plot, setting, theme, dramatic irony, tone, language, symbolism, conventions, or any other element. Try to relate this element to the play as a whole. For example, “The Function of Teiresias in Oedipus the King,” “Imagery of Poison in Othello,” etc.
- From a play you have enjoyed, choose a passage that strikes you as difficult, worth reading closely. Try to pick a passage not longer than about 20 lines. Explicate it- give it a close, sentence-by sentence reading- and explain how this small part of the play relates to the whole. For instance, any of the following passages might be considered memorable (and essential to their plays):
- Othello’s soliloquy beginning “It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul” (Othello, 5.2.1-22)
- Oedipus to Teiresias, speech beginning “Wealth, power, craft of statesmanship!” (Oedipus the King, 1.163-86